Archaeology & History
Viking ring fortress discovered in Denmark
By T.K. Randall
September 8, 2014 · 27 comments
The Viking ring fortress of Trelleborg. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Thue C. Leibrandt
An impressive ring-shaped fortress has been unearthed on an island 50km south of Copenhagen.
Only the fifth of its kind to ever be found and the first within the last 60 years, the unique circular fortress is believed to date back to somewhere around the 10th century.
Historians believe that these ancient buildings may have been built during the reign of Harald Bluetooth who christianised Denmark and Norway. The actual construction is thought to have been overseen by his son Sweyn Forkbeard who used them as a barracks from which to launch invasions of the British Isles.
The latest discovery measures 145m in diameter and was surrounded by a 10m-wide rampart protected by a palisade of wooden spikes to fend off attackers.
Access to the fortress was made possible by four gateways corresponding to the four main compass directions which lead to an inner courtyard that was itself divided up in to four sections.
"Although there were Vikings in other countries, these circular fortresses are unique to Denmark," said Viking historian Lasse Sonne. "Many have given up hope that there were many of them left."
Source: New Zealand Herald
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